Landscape with a Foundry

Herri met de Bles

Herri met de Bles - Landscape with a Foundry
Bles´s Landscape with a Foundry reveals a view of the world which was familiar to the painter´s contemporaries in the Low Countries: the landscape in the painting is not watched from a natural standpoint of the observer, but seen from above, as if from a bird´s-eye view. The scenery is to represent a landscape view of the whole world, in which the focal place is assumed by man and his everyday tasks. Specifically, here Bles captured a working activity linked to the mining and processing of iron ore. At the time, this material was already mined in the Ardennes; Bles was thus able to support his image by observation in his homeland. The bustle of the working people was complemented in this case by his incorporating a biblical scene in the foreground: the Flight into Egypt. The middle plane is filled with bizarre rocky formations: the inspiration for this landscape, so untypical of the Low Countries, may have been provided by motifs of the Alps (mediated through the works of other Netherlandish masters), or the rocks lining the banks of the Maas River. The panoramic universality of the view ends with a vista of the distant river and seashore on the horizon.
measurements: height 88 cm
width 115 cm
material: wood
technique: oil
inventory number: O 68
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters